June 14, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; Houston Astros right fielder Brian Bixler (12) slides safely back to first base against San Francisco Giants first baseman Brandon Belt (9) during the eighth inning at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE

Giants Vs. Astros: Houston Staves Off Sweep, Wins 6-3

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Giants Vs. Astros, Final Score: Houston Staves Off Sweep, Wins 6-3

San Francisco, CA (Sports Network) - One day after Matt Cain threw the 22nd perfect game in major league history, the Houston Astros made sure it didn't happen again, using a pair of long balls to take a 6-3 victory over the San Francisco Giants in the finale of a three-game set at AT&T Park.

J.D. Martinez clobbered a grand slam and Matt Downs added a solo shot for the Astros, who had lost three of their last four entering play on Thursday. Justin Maxwell contributed an RBI single and Jose Altuve added two hits in the victory.

"When you're down 0-2 in the series, you have to get out of here with a win," Downs said. "Cain obviously had the stuff last night and threw unbelievable. We had to bounce back today and put a couple runs on the board early."

Wandy Rodriguez (6-4) allowed three runs on six hits and two walks while fanning three in six innings of work to get the win. Brett Myers picked up his 16th save of the season with a clean ninth inning.

Brandon Belt crushed a two-run homer and Hector Sanchez added a sacrifice fly for the Giants, who had won five of their last seven coming in.

"It feels good to be comfortable at the plate," Belt said. "I've been searching for my swing pretty much all season and to get a few games where I feel pretty good, it feels great and I'm going to try to keep it going."

Barry Zito (5-4) surrendered five runs on five hits and three walks with three strikeouts over five innings. to absorb the loss.

Houston took a 1-0 lead on Downs' solo shot in the second and added more in the third.

Zito got himself into trouble by issuing three straight one-out walks. The former Cy Young Award winner compounded his problems by serving up a fastball over the heart of the plate to Martinez, who crushed it roughly six rows back in left field to extend the Astros' lead to 5-0.

Sanchez ripped a two-out single in the San Francisco fourth, and Belt followed by pulverizing a hanging curveball from Rodriguez high over the wall in right and into McCovey Cove to pull the Giants within three.

Angel Pagan singled to start the Giants' sixth and came around to score on Sanchez's sacrifice fly two batters later to cut the deficit to 5-3.

Maxwell's RBI single in the eighth accounted for the final margin.

Game Notes

Despite the loss, the Giants have gone 9-4 in June...Seven of Zito's 13 starts this season have been quality starts. The Giants fell to 7-6 in games started by Zito...Houston went 2-for-6 with runners in scoring position and stranded four, while San Francisco finished 0-for-4 with men in scoring position and left four on base.

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Giants Vs. Astros: Barry Zito Out For Series Sweep

It's always difficult to back up a masterful performance like the one Matt Cain put on last night for the San Francisco Giants, but that is exactly what Barry Zito has been tabbed to do this afternoon as the Black and Orange finish off their three game set with the Houston Astros at AT&T Park.

Zito took the loss in his last start against the Rangers after giving up four earned runs in six innings of work, though has been much steadier this season, earning victories in previous two outings prior. He'll be taking on Wandy Rodriguez, who has struggled in his last three outings. In 15 1/3 innings pitched Rodriguez has allowed 14 earned runs, and he hasn't made it through the sixth inning after making it through the sixth in 10 of his first 11 starts.

First pitch is set for 12:45 p.m. PT with coverage on CSN Bay Area and KNBR 680 AM.

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Matt Cain Perfect Game Video Highlights: The Final Out

There was so much joy during the last moments of the Matt Cain perfect game that it's probably best for you to review them in all one place. The incredible throw by Joaquin Arias set off a chain reaction of emotions that continue to reverberate through the San Francisco night.

Check out the final out, and the instantaneous joy that results from about everyone.


Here's Cain's reaction throughout the final out, including the epic fist-pump.


The clubhouse reacts to the final out.


The overhead shot!


via assets.sbnation.com

Here's Cain congratulating Gregor Blanco after the game for that diving catch. We're going to talk about the incredible Blanco catch for later. It just deserved its own moment.


Here's Cain at the end, soaking it in. If you don't get all warm and tingly inside seeing this, I don't know what will.


Talk about Cain's perfect game by heading over to McCovey Chronicles and reveling in the result of the game with Giants fans.

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Matt Cain's Perfect Game: The Best Game Pitched Ever?

For those who thought that San Francisco Giants pitcher Matt Cain was underrated, his perfect game performance on Wednesday night certainly put him on the map. It was not just a game for the record books, it may one day be a game that the record books call 'the best game ever pitched.'

But is that too much to say? Check out the facts and make your own decision.

Cain struck out 14 of the 27 batters he faced, tying Sandy Koufax (1965) for the most strikeouts in a perfect game since 1900.

Cain's Game Score (a statistic that rates pitchers' starts based on innings pitched, runs, hits, strikeouts and walks) of 101 was the highest of any pitcher since Kerry Wood's 20 strikeout game in 1998, a game score of 105. But in terms of perfect games, Cain tied Koufax for the highest score ever; in terms of no-hitter's it also ties Nolan Ryan's 16-strikeout game back in 1991.

The average Game Score is around a 50.

It's the 14th no-hitter in Giants franchise history, now the 4th-most of any franchise in MLB history, and their sixth since moving to San Francisco. Jonathan Sanchez last tossed a no-no back in July of 2009.

Eleven of his 14 strikeouts came on fastballs, half of them came on looking Astros. Two came via the changeup and one from the curveball. He threw 19 first pitch strikes to the 27 batters he faced, and 86 of his 125 pitches on the night were for strikes as well.

Cain made sure to keep some in the tank as well, increasing his velocity as the game went on. Maxing out at 93 MPH over the first six innings, Cain threw two fastballs at 94 MPH over the course of the last three. None of his fastballs were less than 91 MPH in the ninth inning. His average velocity was 91.6 MPH, the fastest so far this season.

Cain used all four of his pitches with two strikes. Aside from the strikeouts, Cain made eight more outs in at-bats with where he worked a two strike count.

Let's also not forget the efforts of Buster Posey, who caught his first no-no on Wednesday, as well as Gregor Blanco and Melky Cabrera for crucial, heart-stopping catches on the warning track.

Below is Cain right after the game is over, describing his feelings over the last few innings of the game.

And here is Bruce Bochy's press conference after the game, where he admits to being one of the best games of his life:

Tip of the cap to you Mr. Cain.

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Giants Vs. Astros, Final Score: Matt Cain Throws Perfect Game, Giants Win 10-0

It was a beautiful evening at AT&T Park Wednesday night as the San Francisco Giants took on the Houston Astros, one that would end in Black and Orange history before the night was done. Not only did the not-so-powerful Giants smash three more home runs, Matt Cain made baseball history by throwing a perfect game

Cain was on a roll from the get-go this evening, tossing a carrer-high 14 strikeouts as part of his amazing outing, while a pair of miraculous catches on the warning track from Melky Cabrera and Grergo Blanco aided Cain's perfect cause into the ninth inning.

Houston's Brian Bogusevic popped out to left field for the first out of the ninth inning, followed by the same from Chris Snyder for the second out. Jason Castro was their last chance, grounding out to third base to finish of the historic night.

It was the 14th no-hitter tossed by a Giant and the first since Jonathan Sanchez did it July 10, 2009 against the Padres. It was also the 22nd perfect game thrown in MLB history.

All three homers came as two-run blasts from Melky Cabrera in the first inning, Brandon Belt in the second and Gregor Blanco in the fifth. It was Belt's second bomb in as many at-bats, brining the total to five dingers over the last two games for San Francisco. Belt and Blanco each added another RBI on the evening, while Pablo Sandoval added two more RBI's to his list. All-in-all the Giants amassed 15 hits and a season high 10 runs.

Full box score can be found here.

The Giants go for the series sweep on Thursday as Barry Zito takes on Wandy Rodriguez. First pitch is set for 12:45 p.m. PT with coverage on CSN Bay Area and KNBR 680 AM.

For more on the Giants, head over to McCovey Chronicles.

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Giants Vs. Astros: Matt Cain Looks To Continue Dominance

The San Francisco Giants took care of business behind a domineering Madison Bumgarner Tuesday night, and now look for the same from the workhorse Matt Cain against the Houston Astros on Wednesday at AT&T Park.

Matt Cain has been flat out amazing lately, owning a 0.83 ERA in his last three starts (21 2/3 innings) and has won each of his last six starts since May 12. He's also lasted at least six innings in all 12 of his starts this year, the longest streak by a Giants pitcher to open a season since Atlee Hammaker started the 1983 season with an outstanding 21 starts of six or more innings to start the year.

Cain hasn't been dominant in his career against Houston, owning a unremarkable 1-3 record with a 4.69 ERA in seven games against the Astros. He hasn't beaten them since May 13, 2008.

On the flip side the Astros' J.A. Happ is trying to avoid his fourth consecutive loss. He's given up nine runs in 18 innings of work in his last three starts, though the Astros have scored four total runs in those three outings.Happ gave up four runs and five hits in 4 2/3 innings against the Cardinals in his last start.

First pitch is set for 7:15 p.m. PT with coverage on CSN Bay Area and KNBR 680 AM.

For more in depth discussion and analysis of the San Francisco Giants, make sure that you check out the unparalleled McCovey Chronicles.

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Giants Vs. Astros, Final Score: Madison Bumgarner, Brandon Belt Blast G-Men To 6-3 Win

Madison Bumgarner worked 7 2/3 fantastic innings and blasted his first career home run Tuesday as the San Francisco Giants topped the Houston Astros, 6-3 in the opener of a three-game set at AT&T Park.

Bumgarner (8-4) allowed two runs -- one earned -- on six hits and no walks while striking out a season-high 12 hitters to collect the win. Clay Hensley allowed a run with two outs in the ninth, but Santiago Casilla got the final out to nail down his 17th save of the season.

Brandon Belt ripped a two-run home run and Melky Cabrera added an RBI base hit for the Giants, who lost two of three to the Texas Rangers over the weekend. Brandon Crawford contributed a two-run single in the victory.

Brian Bixler drove in two runs and Jason Castro added an RBI double for the Astros, who had taken two of three from the Chicago Cubs in their previous series.

Bud Norris (5-4) allowed three runs on three hits and three walks in 3 1/3 innings before leaving in the fourth due to a knee injury. He also had five strikeouts in defeat.

The Astros opened the scoring with a run in the third inning. Jose Altuve reached second on a throwing error by Crawford, stole third and scored on a base hit to left by Bixler, but the Giants got the run right back in the home half when Bumgarner led off the inning by crushing a fastball from Norris over the wall in left to tie the game at one.

Buster Posey drew a leadoff walk in the San Francisco fourth. After Pablo Sandoval fouled out, Nate Schierholtz and Belt coaxed back-to-back walks from Norris to load the bases. Crawford then slapped a base hit up the middle that brought home two runs to give the Giants the 3-1 lead.

San Francisco extended its lead to three in the seventh. Facing Astros reliever Brandon Lyon, Gregor Blanco drew a leadoff walk, stole second, and advanced to third when the throw from Castro wound up in center field. After Ryan Theriot struck out, Cabrera picked up his teammate with a bloop single into left to bring home Blanco.

Bixler doubled home Brian Bogusevic in the eighth to pull the Astros within two, but Belt extended the Giants' lead to four in the home half of the inning with a long homer to right off Wesley Wright which landed in McCovey Cove.

Castro doubled home Jordan Schafer with two outs in the ninth to cut the deficit to three, but Casilla got pinch-hitter Brett Wallace to fly out to end the game.

Game Notes

Prior to Tuesday's game, the Giants signed 2012 first-round draft pick Chris Stratton...Belt's last home run came on September 27, 2011...San Francisco went 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position and has posted a 24-12 record this season when recording 2-or-more hits with runners in scoring position in a game...The Giants committed one error on Tuesday and are now tied with the Baltimore Orioles for the most errors in the majors (57)...Houston went 2- for-7 with runners in scoring position.

For more on the Giants head over to McCovey Chronicles.

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Melky Cabrera Appears Healthy, Returns To San Francisco Giants Lineup

The San Francisco Giants have been without their most productive hitter the last few days, but it looks like outfielder Melky Cabrera's bad hamstring is finally healthy. Cabrera, who is hitting .364 this season, has not played since June 7 and the team has struggled to consistently score without him. According to this latest tweet from Alex Pavlovic, Melky is feeling fine.

Cabrera will bat third on Tuesday night against the Houston Astros, right in front of Buster Posey. Angel Pagan is out just to get some rest and is expected to return on Wednesday.

First pitch from AT&T Park will be at 7:15 this evening. Head on out to the ballpark or watch on CSN Bay Area to see Melky's return to the lineup.

For more on the Giants be sure to check out McCovey Chronicles. Head over to Crawfish Boxes for Astros news. For all things related to America's pastime visit Baseball Nation.


Giants Vs. Astros: Madison Bumgarner, Bud Norris Square Off

The San Francisco Giants are fresh off their series with the defending AL champion Rangers, but now turn their attention to Texas' other baseball club, the Houston Astros, starting Tuesday night at AT&T Park.

San Francisco will send out Madison Bumgarner, who was a bit shaky in last outing, allowing a season-high-tying four earned runs in six innings pitched. Bummy still managed to earn the win. He made two starts against Houston last year, going 1-1 with a 4.85 ERA. In five home starts this season, the big lefty is 4-1 with a 2.50 ERA along with 27 strikeouts to just three walks in 36 innings of work.

The 'stros will send out Bud Norris, who hasn't gotten a victory in his last three starts, giving up 16 runs in 12.1 innings pitched over those three outings.

First pitch is set for 7:15 p.m. PT with coverage on CSN Bay Area and KNBR 680 AM.

For more on the Giants head over to McCovey Chronicles. For the Astros side of things head over to the Crawfish Boxes.

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